Pakistan make strong start after Chandimal heroics
Dinesh Chandimal led by example with his first century as Sri Lanka Test captain but Pakistan made a positive start to their reply on day two in Abu Dhabi.
TheÂ imperturbableÂ Chandimal was unbeaten on 155 - his second-highest Test score â€“ and Niroshan Dickwella made a more entertaining Test-best 83Â to get the tourists up to 419 all out.
A patient Chandimal, who faced 372 balls in what was hisÂ ninth Test hundred, and the aggressive Dickwella put on 134 for the fifth wicket as Sri Lanka set about trying to silence their critics.
Mohammad Abbas (3-75) and Yasir Shah (3-120) took three wickets apiece beforeÂ Shan Masood and Sami Aslam saw Pakistan through to 64-0 at stumps.
An unflappableÂ Chandimal was watchful on day one and took the same approach in the morning sessionÂ after the tourists resumed on 227-4 on Friday, butÂ Dickwella needed only four balls to move from 42 to aÂ sixth Test half-century.
The pair continued to frustrate Pakistan as the partnership passed 100, Dickwella comfortably outscoring his captain and overtakingÂ him following aÂ reverse-sweepÂ to the boundary off Yasir.
Dickwella missed out on a maiden Test tonÂ when the left-hander played on to a delivery fromÂ Hasan Ali, butÂ Chandimal was rewarded for his defiance by bringing up a 273-ball hundred with a glorious cover drive offÂ Mohammad Amir.
Dilruwan Perera successfully reviewed after being given out leg before when he got an inside edge on an armÂ ball from YasirÂ and it tookÂ Dilruwan 33 deliveries to finally get off the mark after also overturning an lbw decision.
After Sri Lanka tookÂ lunch onÂ 322-5, Dilruwan got his eye in, using hisÂ feet superbly to get to the pitch of the ball and loftÂ Hasan for six over long-on, but aÂ 92-run partnership was ended when debutantÂ Haris Sohail snared him lbw for 33.
Chandimal had started to adopt aÂ more attacking approach, hitting Yasir for back-to-back boundaries, and passed 150 before tea, but Abbas cleaned up the tail as the last five wickets fell for only 32 runs.Â
Masood andÂ Aslam saw Pakistan through to the close unscathed, reducing the deficit to 355 runs on what was very much Chandimal's day.